Styx co-founder James "J.Y." Young says that having fellow 70s rock favorites Rush and Heart inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year has "opened the door for the possibility in the future" that his band might get in someday, too.
But, the guitarist adds, "We really don't care. We've seen so many people in the music business that have said bad things about us or didn't give us the time of day early on or even after we were successful, or we're not their cup of tea. I can completely understand. Everyone's entitled to their individual taste.
"But when you've been passed over for so many years, it's like, 'Who the f*** are these guys?' y'know? F*** them! We're doing just fine whether or not we're in there."
Styx is, in fact, maintaining a heavy touring schedule that this year included another run with Ted Nugent and REO Speedwagon on the Midwest Rock 'n' Roll Express package along with its own headlining dates. It also played the pre-party for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in New York. At this juncture, Young notes, he considers Styx primarily "a live concert act," which means "there's not tremendous incentive to go into the studio" and make new music.
"There's a lot of material. There just hasn't been the commitment to doing it," explains Young, 63. "Radio's a dead issue. When I look at the (Rolling) Stones and (Paul) McCartney, they put out a new album and who plays it? Foreigner, Journey, even Def Leppard make brand new records, and you're not hearing it. It's hard to feel motivated in that kind of environment.
"So I think rather than make an album, we should make one great track that we like and make a fun little video that has the possibility of going viral and just put it up on our web site, and if it catches on with people, radio stations will run with it. We have to use the new tail to wag the big radio dog; MTV used to be that, but now it's the Internet. So I think that's the best way to go in the future."
Styx and John WAite perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $51 and $31 pavilion, $16 lawn. Call 586-268-9700 or visit www.freedomhill.net
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